Facilitating the Spread of Knowledge and Innovation in Professional Software Development

Write for InfoQ


Choose your language

InfoQ Homepage News Microsoft Edge for Linux Now Stable

Microsoft Edge for Linux Now Stable

This item in japanese

Lire ce contenu en français


After one year in preview, Edge for Linux has recently become stable, aiming to provide an alternative to Chrome and Firefox and support to legacy Web apps.

Edge is based on Chromium, Google's open source Web engine which also powers Chrome, and aims to provide an alternative user experience, including support for vertical tabs, tab groups, immersive reader, and more. While also a direct competitor of Chrome, Firefox, and Safari for general use, Edge is especially suitable to organizations committed to Microsoft ecosystem. Indeed, Edge provides a unique Internet Explorer mode that makes it possible to use legacy Web sites that were designed for the now deprecated, highly non-standard Internet Explorer browser. This mode can be enabled for a restricted set or URLs, which will be rendered using the old engine. On the contrary, the new engine is the default, with its higher compatibility to Web standards and security.

In fact, Internet Explorer mode is not available on Linux, nor in Edge for macOS, and will not likely ever be since this would require porting the Trident MSHTML engine to those platforms. However, Edge is able to sync user data back and forth across platforms, including bookmarks, passwords, extensions, and so on.

Microsoft cites a few organizations that elected Edge as their default browser. For those organizations, the availability of Edge for Linux means they can use the same browser for all of their workforces, with the possibility of using IE mode on Windows and seamlessly synchronize user data for those users that require a different platform or use multiple platforms for different kinds of tasks or in different environments.

In addition to this, Edge for Linux will also be useful to Web developers on Linux to test their Web sites compatibility with Edge without having to resort to using a virtual machine or running a Windows box. Another benefit brought to developers could be the availability of WebView2 on Linux, a component that enables hosting web content within native apps.

Reactions from the community in part raised concerns about the fact that Edge is proprietary. This is similar to Chrome and Safari, though, with Firefox being the only major browser that open sources its code entirely. Additional concerns were raised about possibly doubtful tracking carried through by Microsoft's browser, which again was echoed with similar concerns about Chrome and Firefox, although the latter only collects user data for telemetry.

For concerned users, a fully open-source, telemetry-free fork of Firefox is LibreWolf. Other privacy-minded browsers are Brave and Vivaldi, although both are proprietary.

Edge for Linux is available on most major distributions, thanks to Microsoft-provided .deb and .rpm packages. If you prefer, you can also install it using Microsoft Linux Software Repository.

Rate this Article


Hello stranger!

You need to Register an InfoQ account or or login to post comments. But there's so much more behind being registered.

Get the most out of the InfoQ experience.

Allowed html: a,b,br,blockquote,i,li,pre,u,ul,p

Community comments

Allowed html: a,b,br,blockquote,i,li,pre,u,ul,p

Allowed html: a,b,br,blockquote,i,li,pre,u,ul,p